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@SharedFuture

Book review: Reporting beyond the Problem (eds. Karen HOPKINSON and Nicole DAHMEN)

Book review: Reporting beyond the Problem (eds. Karen HOPKINSON and Nicole DAHMEN)
by Allan LEONARD
9 September 2021

While there is a historic tradition of journalism that strives towards a common, public good (however defined), this has occurred in a paradigm of a professionalisation of journalism and a business model where editors responded to a pressure to publish content — whether print, radio, or television — that attracted audiences and satisfied advertisers. Some may say these were halcyon days, when advertising revenue subsidised reportage that took time and effort, such as investigative journalism or in-depth coverage. 

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@MrUlster

Book review: This is Magritte

A concise, well written, and thoughtfully illustrated book about a master of surrealism. Learnt interesting insights about Rene Magritte. One can appreciate how aspects of his life affected his artistic work, including his family experiences, coming of age, and his (sometimes fraught) relationships with friends and peers. The book also provides good explanations of the contests for artistic narratives, for example the distinction between the Parisian and Belgian surrealists (the role of music is key). And clarity of Magritte’s views about his own work, for example his firm rebuttal of psychoanalytical interpretations: “In my painting, a bird is a bird. And a bottle is a bottle, not a symbol of a womb.” (But we can ask, “Is it a pipe?”)

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@MrUlster

Book review: Irish Summers (Harry GRUYAERT)

Book review: Irish Summers (Harry GRUYAERT)
by Allan LEONARD
21 March 2021

Harry Gruyaert’s work is recognisable by its saturated colours of thoughtfully chosen hues. The interplay with light is also crucial. There are images in Irish Summers that exemplify such decisive moments, when colour and light come together to satisfy Gruyaert’s quest for sensual beauty in the otherwise banal.

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Essays Photography

Book review: Old Ireland in Colour (John BRESLIN & Sarah-Anne BUCKLEY)

Book review: Old Ireland in Colour
by Allan LEONARD
14 March 2021

Old Ireland in Colour is an ongoing project of colourising black and white images by photographers in Ireland in the late 19th to early 20th century. The catalyst was John Breslin working on colourising some photos of his grandparents, when he discovered an automated system called DeOldify. He looked for more images to colourise, starting with old photographs of NUI Galway, then the Galway/Connemara area, and then of Ireland as a whole.

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Essays Photography

Book review: New Ways of Seeing (Grant SCOTT)

Book review: New Ways of Seeing (Grant SCOTT)
by Allan LEONARD
21 February 2021

We read books of fiction and non-fiction, and may acquire a respect for how difficult it is to create such works ourselves. We are taught how to read the written word, and by practising reading, tend to appreciate its transformative power. The novel we re-read. The poem that lifts our spirits. The biography that provokes empathy. We call it literacy — to communicate effectively and make sense of the world.

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@NorthernSlant

Book review: A Pocket History of Northern Ireland (Richard KILLEEN)

Book review: A Pocket History of Northern Ireland (Richard KILLEEN)
by Allan LEONARD
29 December 2020

Occasionally I am approached for an image to be used in a book publication. Recently, this was for one that I made of a mural celebrating the television series, Derry Girls. Disclosure: I granted permission, with payment, for the image in A Pocket History of Northern Ireland, by Richard Killeen and published by Gill Books.

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Essays Photography

Book review: How I Make Photographs by Joel MEYEROWITZ

Book review: How I Make Photographs by Joel MEYEROWITZ
by Allan LEONARD
18 October 2020

Joel Meyerowitz is a renowned street photographer, long before the term became a familiar recognised genre (or subgenre of documentary photography). Once working as an art director, after an encounter with photographer Robert Frank, he quit his job and set out with a Pentax camera. Meyerowitz is known for his recording of street life in his native New York City, covering a span of several decades.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

Considering Grace: An invitation to listen

Dr William HENRY (Moderator, Presbyterian Church in Ireland), Jamie YOHANIS, and Gladys GANIEL. Book launch: Considering Grace: Presbyterians and the Troubles. Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland. (c) Michael COOPER @mcooperpics

Considering Grace: An invitation to listen
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
5 November 2019

Considering Grace, by Gladys Ganiels and Jamie Yohanis, is a new book that explores how Presbyterians responded to the Troubles, through a series of narratives from 120 people who tell their stories of how they coped with trauma and tests of their faith. The book was launched with a set of readings and short presentations at Assembly Buildings, Belfast, to an audience of several dozens.

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@SluggerOToole

The polite rebel: Sheelagh Murnaghan

The polite rebel: Sheelagh Murnaghan
by Allan LEONARD
3 October 2019

Sheelagh Murnaghan was the only Liberal Party MP (1961-69) in the Northern Ireland Parliament, representing the constituency of Queen’s University Belfast, which was the venue for a launch event of a new biography about her remarkable life. There were many Murnaghan family members in the audience of a few dozen attending.

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@MrUlster

Book review: Great Thinkers (The School of Life)

Great Thinkers is a compilation of 60 short essays — about 1,500 to 3,000 words each — published by The School of Life, which dedicates itself to “developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture”. It describes the book as a volume of some of the most important ideas of Eastern and Western culture, drawn from the works of philosophers, political theorists, sociologists, artists, and novelists “whom we believe have the most to offer us today”.

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@NorthernSlant

Book review: Anna Lo: The Place I Call Home

Book review: Anna Lo: The Place I Call Home
by Allan LEONARD
15 August 2019

Anna Lo writes with a crisp and concise manner, demonstrating her fine skills in English that she makes reference to in her memoir. The Place I Call Home is a chronological story, from her childhood to current retirement. It gives a valuable, firsthand insight of the experiences of an immigrant to Northern Ireland.

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@NorthernSlant Essays Photography

Book review: The Colour of Time (Dan JONES & Marina AMARAL)

Book review: The Colour of Time (Dan JONES & Marina AMARAL)
by Allan LEONARD
26 May 2019

Released in hardcover in August 2018 and now available in paperback, The Colour of Time, by historian Dan Jones and artist Marina Amaral, is a collection of 200 colourised photographs taken between 1850 and 1960. With accompanying extended captions, this is a visually rewarding overview of personalities and major moments in world history, from the Crimean War to the space age.